Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

We are often made to feel that there is another youth and age than that which is measured from the year of our natural birth. Some thoughts always find us young, and keep us so. Such a thought is the love of the universal and eternal beauty.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Over-Soul," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
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Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why This charm is wasted on the earth and sky, Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing, Then Beauty is its own excuse for being: Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose! I never thought to ask, I never knew: But, in my simple ignorance, suppose The self-same Power that brought me there brought you.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. poet, essayist. The Rhodora (l. 9-16). . . Norton Anthology of Poetry, The. Alexander W. Allison and others, eds. (3d ed., 1983) W. W. Norton & Company.
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The university must be retrospective. The gale that gives direction to the vanes on all its towers blows out of antiquity.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Universities," English Traits (1856).
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Who leaves the pine-tree, leaves his friend, Unnerves his strength, invites his end.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Woodnotes II," Poems (1847).
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If any mention was made of homicide, madness, adultery, and intolerable tortures, we would let the church-bells ring louder, the church-organ swell its peal and drown the hideous sound. The sugar they raised was excellent: nobody tasted blood in it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Address Delivered in Concord on the Anniversary of the Emancipation of the Negroes in the British West Indies, August 1, 1844," Miscellanies (1883, repr. 1903).
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Science in England, in America, is jealous of theory, hates the name of love and moral purpose. There's revenge for this humanity. What manner of man does science make? The boy is not attracted. He says, I do not wish to be such a kind of man as my professor is.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Beauty," The Conduct of Life (1860).
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Moons are no more bounds to spiritual power than bat-balls.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Circles," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847). Emerson is speaking here about the illusion of permanence and connecting the idea of flux to the non-empirical realm of spirituality. The notion is that spiritual power blooms in the context of change and mutability. If all were permanently stable, Emerson argues, the sacred would not be able to appear in nature. Moons in the solar system and earthly balls dancing off the end of a bat represent the spectrum of possibility in the universe.
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Is a man too strong and fierce for society, and by temper and position a bad citizen,—a morose ruffian, with a dash of the pirate in him;Mnature sends him a troop of pretty sons and daughters, who are getting along in the dame's classes at the village school, and love and fear for them smooths his grim scowl to courtesy. Thus she contrives to intenerate the granite and the feldspar, takes the boar out and puts the lamb in, and keeps her balance true.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Compensation," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
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It is said, no man can write but one book; and if a man have a defect, it is apt to leave its impression on all his performances.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Culture," The Conduct of Life (1860).
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Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Essays, "Art," First Series (1841).
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